Warriors ready to kick off season

Members of the Thompson High School football team perfect their plays during practice at the school on Aug. 14. The Warriors will travel to Pell City for a jamboree game on Aug. 23 before beginning the season at home Aug. 30 against Shelby County High. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Members of the Thompson High School football team perfect their plays during practice at the school on Aug. 14. The Warriors will travel to Pell City for a jamboree game on Aug. 23 before beginning the season at home Aug. 30 against Shelby County High. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Thompson High School football team is ready to start the regular season on Aug. 30, and second-year head coach Mike Montgomery will be looking for senior leadership to lead the team.

The Warriors have their first new quarterback in a few years following the graduation of Trey Matherson last year. Zach Brammer, a dual-threat quarterback, will look to bring a new style of play under center.

Senior running back Dee Tolbert will look to continue the success he began during his breakout season last year, during which he racked up 21 touchdowns. Tolbert will see plenty of playing time after bulking up during the offseason.

Brammer’s favorite target likely will be senior receiver Eric Reeves, who will be joined by juniors Maxwell Daniels, Matt Tolbert and Xavier Johnson.

The offensive line will feature plenty of rebuilding, as returning Melvin Owens and Leighton Irvin will be joined by newcomers Jake Allen, Ryan Mitchell and Corey Robinson.

Thompson’s defensive line will be anchored by returning stars T.J. Rayam and Jake Rakestraw, and returning linebacker Luke Moore will look to have a breakout season this year.

Senior Caleb Vann will lead the Warriors on secondary, and he will be joined by Blake Lewis, Terrell Manzano and Kirkland Smith.

David Buckalew will handle all kicking duties for Thompson this season.

After traveling to Pell City for a jamboree game on Aug. 23, Thompson will start the regular season at home against Shelby County on Aug. 30.

The Warriors will open region play on the road Sept. 6 at Chelsea before facing rival Pelham at home on Sept. 13.

Sept. 20 and Sept. 27 will bring home games against Prattville and Shades Valley, respectively, before traveling to Spain Park and Stanhope Elmore the following two weeks.

On Oct. 18, the Warriors return home to face Wetumpka before finishing the regular season with back-to-back road games against Oak Mountain and John Carroll on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, respectively.